Google Search has begun rolling out the second general base update of the year, the September 2022 base update. It started on September 12, 2022 at around 11:25 am ET and can take about two weeks to roll out.
This update followed the completion of Google’s helpful content update that ended on Friday, September 9th. I’m surprised, I was told that after the helpful content update we would get the fifth product review update, but that’s okay, we have a major update instead.
So far we are seeing that this basic update is already taking hold and causing a lot of widespread volatility. Both the early rumors within the SEO community are showing this and Google’s tracking tools as well. Some are showing a 20-60% drop in traffic since launch. It’s too early to be sure, but I wanted to share what we’ve seen so far.
Quick info on Google’s September 2022 Broad Core update
Here are the most important things we know right now in short form:
- First name: Google general update September 2022
- Launched: September 12, 2022 at around 11:25 pm ET
- Unroll: It will take about a week or two to launch
- Targets: Review all types of content
- Penalty: It is not a sanction, it promotes or rewards great web pages
- Global: This is a global update that affects all regions, in all languages.
- Impact: Google didn’t tell me what percentage of queries or searches this update affected, but so far this appears to be a typical core update that stretches and the impact is quick.
- To discoverMajor updates affect Google Discover and other features, even feature snippets and more.
- To retrieve: If you’ve been impressed with this, you’ll need to look at your content and see if you can do better with Google’s basic update recommendations.
- Update: Google will make periodic updates to this algorithm but may not communicate such updates in the future. Maybe this is what we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks or all those unconfirmed Google updates.
Here is the tweet announcing it and which links to the page that says “September 12, 2022 – September 2022 major update released. Rollout may take 2 weeks to complete.”
Today we released the main update for September 2022. We will update our ranking release history page when the rollout is complete: https://t.co/sQ5COfdNcb
– Google search center (@googlesearchc) September 12, 2022
It will be a great update
Time will tell, but basic updates tend to be noticeable and SEOs generally see widespread changes with these updates. Also Danny Sullivan has somehow hinted that we may see changes with the next major update, as Glenn Gabe reminded us below. But not because the helpful content update and core updates are related, they aren’t. Plus because the scores together might tip some scales for some, if they have trouble with both separate grading systems …
Not that directly. The point is that our classification systems use a variety of signals overall, as we said: https://t.co/G6g7hvE7P2
Helpful content is weighted, so peripheral sites may not experience problems. But if they also have basic update issues, the combination could be more meaningful. pic.twitter.com/tQZcsZQHkp
– Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) September 12, 2022
All languages / Global
Recall that major updates now impact all languages and are global updates:
– 🌽 〈link href = // johnmu.com rel = canonical〉 🌽 (@JohnMu) September 13, 2022
Previous Broad Core updates
It will take a couple of weeks to implement and it has been around four months since the last update, which was the last major update in May 2022 on May 25, 2022. Previously there was the November 2021 major update from November 17 as of November 30. Previous major updates before the November update were July 2021 and then a month earlier with the June major update. The previous one was 6 months before the June update, December 3, 2020 called the December 2020 main update. Previously there was a 7-month lag from May 4, 2020, the May 2020 main update. The previous one was the January 13, 2020, the main update for January 2020 and the previous one was September 24, 2019, the main update for September 2019. Oh, that was June 3, 2019, the main update for June 2019 and I can go on to infinite.
SEO Chatter on the May 2022 Major Update
Here are some of the chatter I see at the beginning of WebmasterWorld, as I said, it started pretty fast.
Seeing a massive drop in traffic, but no change in SERP rankings
A huge drop today … wowwww
25 ~ 30% drop 🙁
Some of the first chat on Twitter:
My traffic is down (about 20%) but I keep checking my rankings and they are more or less the same … Maybe I am losing rankings from adjacent queries and not from my targeted keywords.
– John Contreras (@johntristanbook) September 12, 2022
I know everyone complains about basic updates and Google tends to ignore them. But if you don’t give people time to analyze trends from previous updates, how do you expect them to improve or learn?
– Henry Funnell (@HenryFunnell) September 12, 2022
Traffic decrease of around 20% based on what I think we should see today. While we have made about 20% gains after the helpful content update, we are just back to where we were a month ago.
– Jonathon Hyjek💡 (@jonathonhyjek) September 12, 2022
Traffic is everywhere, 50% increase in the morning then 40% decrease in the evening. Seems like a pretty big update
– Stefan (@ Stefan01301380) September 12, 2022
Oh … I was thinking it would be later. It is usually every 6 months. https://t.co/3fDLa122Ta
– Gianluca Fiorelli (@ gfiorelli1) September 12, 2022
– Robust business (@SturdyBusiness) September 12, 2022
Type of 😂 pic.twitter.com/d3mC8ivtrd
– dan 🤝 content (@saintvienna) September 13, 2022
– Tinus (@Tinusg) September 13, 2022
I must love these almost chained updates that make parsing easier 😅 https://t.co/RvGXQkrghm
– Aleyda Solis 🇺🇦 (@aleida) September 12, 2022
I don’t know what’s going on over there at Google, but something is. Between a strange PRU all that was and wasn’t with the HCU and now instead of another PRU a major upgrade? Something is happening behind the scenes https://t.co/T9dW2APe7U
– Mordy Oberstein 🇺🇦 (@MordyOberstein) September 12, 2022
6th major update of the year
Google needs to send 5 more updates this year to beat the 2021 total (10 main updates) https://t.co/qCTzu9LTU1
– Andy Beard (@AndyBeard) September 12, 2022
My jaw actually dropped https://t.co/q0WtVM73Oq
– Lily Ray 😏 (@lilyraynyc) September 12, 2022
I’m sorry for all my friends known for writing and documenting the effects of major Google updates. How are they doing something recently? Cabbage! https://t.co/bdlHoi0xTO
– Cindy Krum 📱 (@Suzzicks) September 12, 2022
OMG, I did NOT expect this today. I figured the next product review update would be next. What is happening in Google Land? 🙂 Beware, like others, it may take up to 2 weeks to be fully implemented. https://t.co/JUPF9J65Lm
– Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) September 12, 2022
Monitoring tools in the major update of May 2022
Advanced Web Leaderboards:
What have you noticed so far?
Discussion in the forum a Twitter and Webmaster World.